Animal protection supported by Schweyer, Schlossberg, McNeill
ALLENTOWN, March 11 – Today, state Reps. Mike Schlossberg, Peter Schweyer and Jeanne McNeill joined leaders from the Lehigh County Humane Society and The Humane Society of the United States in a call to advance legislation to better protect animals from abuse in Pennsylvania.
“We applaud Representatives Mike Schlossberg, Jeanne McNeill and Pete Schweyer for introducing important legislation as we continue building a more humane PA,” said Kristen Tullo, Pennsylvania state director for The Humane Society of the United States. “We owe a big thank you to the Lehigh County Humane Society and the kind-hearted citizens of the commonwealth for continuing direct care and life-saving efforts and supporting our animal friends by giving them a legislative voice of protection.”
Schlossberg, Schweyer and McNeill are all strong supporters of measures to provide more resources, emphasize rescue adoption and strengthen measures aimed at curbing animal abuse.
With over 6.5 million animals entering pet shelters each year, Schlossberg has introduced a bill to name “Shelter Pet” as the Official Pet of Pennsylvania and is the author of the resolution naming Feb. 25, 2020 as Spay Day in Pennsylvania. These pieces of legislation are part of an effort to highlight the important work performed by animal shelters and urging Pennsylvanians to take steps to reduce the number of pets which need to be sheltered.
“Animal shelters perform incredible services in our community and work to prepare rescued animals for adoption into loving families. The staff and volunteers at these facilities also undertake tremendous care to prevent further crisis by spaying and neutering pets that come into their care,” said Schlossberg. “By adopting a pet from a shelter instead of a breeder or getting pets spayed and neutered, animal lovers can help shelters focus on ensuring animal care and protection throughout our community.”
Schweyer and McNeill recently introduced legislation to provide financial support to ease the financial stress Pennsylvania humane societies face. The Animal Cruelty Investigation Fund would help to pay for training, equipment, medical care, shelter costs and expenses for humane society police officers.
“While great progress has been made with Libre’s Law, which increases the penalties for those who abuse animals, the justice and rehabilitation for these animals takes an immense amount of time and resources,” Schweyer said. “This bill will help alleviate the heavy financial burden placed on humane societies and their officers.
McNeill is also the author of legislation to prohibit the transporting of dogs in an external section of a vehicle, such as a truck bed or the roof of a car while traveling on public roads. This legislation is aimed at protecting the lives of thousands of dogs estimated to die every year while being transported.
“Even a minor accident can cause a severe injury to a dog who is not inside a vehicle or being transported in an insulated, secured device or trailer,” said McNeill. “In addition, placing a dog in a cage and attaching it to the rear of a vehicle and allowing them to breath in the exhaust from your engine and be exposed to the outdoor elements is simply cruel to animals and inhumane. My legislation will make it illegal to do this.”
“Ensuring the safety and well-being of every animal in the Lehigh Valley is of the utmost importance to the Lehigh County Humane Society. To that end, we commit our full resources to investigating complaints and bringing appropriate justice to those individuals or groups who endanger or harm any animal,” said Hal Warner, chief executive officer of the Lehigh County Humane Society. “LCHS is very grateful to Representatives Schweyer, Schlossberg and McNeill as well as Kristen Tullo from HSUS for providing the necessary resources and leadership that allow local Humane Police Officers to protect our animal friends.
All three lawmakers also took the opportunity to invite animal lovers to the Humane Lobby Day at the Pennsylvania Capitol on April 6. The event, organized by HSUS, welcomes animal lovers and advocates from across the commonwealth to join in raising awareness of the many sobering animal cruelty issues in Pennsylvania. Anybody interested can register through The Humane Society of the United States. Information can also be found on the group’s Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/HSUSPennsylvania/.